Donald Mills

Obituary of Donald Wayne Mills

Donald Wayne Mills, born February 27, 1935, passed away peacefully at his fifth-generation family home on June 4, 2019. He was the grandson of Helen and Dominic Mills, a pioneer family of the Key Peninsula, and son of Bertha and Theodore Mills. Don never met a stranger in his life; he was gregarious, fun-loving, and witty. Don was a loving husband, father, and grandfather who gave generously of himself to the community, which was so important to him.


He was proud of his eight years of U.S. Navy service after graduating from Peninsula High School in 1953. His first job was logging in the Olympic Mountains and Alaska, and his career as a journeyman master electrician spanned more than 50 years, including ownership of Penelco, Inc. He influenced the lives of many through Boy Scouts of America, Peninsula Athletic Association, and by development of Volunteer Park while acting as an original KP Park Commissioner. He served the Key Peninsula Civic Center for many years as a volunteer and past president. A volunteer firefighter for over 20 years, Don retired as the last volunteer fire chief for Key Peninsula Fire District 16. He was a 50+ year member of the Elks, Key Peninsula Historical Society, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and National Rifle Association. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping, boating, hiking in his beloved Olympic Mountains, and crafting beautiful carpentry pieces. He completed all projects with great skill, and his gentle kindness and patience will be remembered.


Don is survived by wife of 57 years, Judy. Together, they raised sons, Matthew (Lisa), Michael (Kris), and Martin (Robin); and had seven grandchildren, Kelson, Mackenzie, Gabriel, Zachary, Ruby, Bailey and Sawyer. Son, Michael, was waiting to greet Don as he left this life. Don is also survived by sister, Lynn; sister-in-law, Jane Glundberg; nephew, Blake Glundberg (Janna, and children, Loki, William, and Smith); and niece, Melissa Dixon (Brian).


Special thanks for the loving care of friend, Nadine, and the Franciscan Hospice team, Rachel, Sandy, Amy, Chris, Eileen and Karen.


The family will gather for a private farewell.


No flowers, please.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Key Peninsula Historical Society in support of the Vaughn Library Hall restoration project: KPHS, 17010 S. Vaughn Road NW, Vaughn, WA 98394 or


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